Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, December 05, 2014

The LRG List of Top Pop Culture Videos of 2014

The time has come for Best of the Year lists and one that I like to put together is for videos from some of my favorite web series. They're a mix of parodies, thoughtful analysis and literary goodness with a big emphasis on pop culture realness(and most importantly, fun).

A huge must-watch for me and many others is Cecil Trachenburg's Good Bad Flicks that does much more than lovingly mock mediocre cinema. He also provides insider info about the making of certain films, plus in depth looks at how movies in general are marketed and the changes made over the years for good or ill.

 One of his strongest pieces to date is "WTF Happened to PG-13?", the MPAA rating  introduced in the 1980s that was meant to liberate mature content in mainstream movies but has instead become another form of artistic restraint:

A less serious look at modern day films comes from a new series put out by the gang at Wisecrack(which also does Thug Notes and 8-Bit Philosophy) called Earthling Cinema.

Space alien archivist Garyx Wormuloid,(aka comedian Mark Schroeder) gives his take on what is left of Planet Earth's cinematic past in ways that are greatly amusing. For one thing, the way humans consume food is considered upsetting to intergalactic audiences, so censor bars are common for such scenes.

For some flicks, an outsider approach is the best way to examine and a prime example of that is this dissection of Mean Girls, which makes this teen satire seem very Wild Kingdom indeed:

Speaking of Thug Notes, I was pleased as blood red punch that the selection for Halloween this year was Bram Stroker's Dracula.

 If you're not familiar with this series, let me break it down for you; Professor Sparky Sweets( actor Greg Edwards) gives his entertaining everyman synopsis of literature ranging from classics such as Pride and Prejudice(the first one I saw) and Hamlet to present day fare like The Hunger Games.

Don't let the casual flow fool you, Thug Notes offers smart and savvy analysis of great books that teachers and students both use in their studies. Also, it's creative catnip for book folks to sit back and enjoy:

I've watched more Book Tube folks this year and grown fond of a few, such as Rincey Reads and Ron Lit, whose book reviews and examination of literary trends offer some fresh perspective into my bookish world.

The one lady that got me hooked into this scene is Sarah of Mothereffing Books, who has launched a side line series within her web series entitled "Oh My God, This is Terrible, You Should Watch It".

Sarah and her good friend Chris get together to view exceptionally awful movies(both of the High School Musical features have been on the line-up) and give their spirited opinions on them. My favorite of them all is their breakdown of the film adaptation of Vampire Academy, which sounds a lot hilariously better than I suspect the movie actually is. I hope she and Chris keep this up because they make a great Siskel and Ebert pairing here:

I'll wrap this up with another Disney themed offering from the AVbyte brothers who released a sinister sweet mini-musical salute to cartoon villianesses, featuring Maleficent as the fearsome front runner.

2014 certainly has been a year of ups and downs, with a strong chance that more will come our way before the clock strikes midnight for 2015. In times like these, it's good to see people use their creativity to advance the arts not just for fun but entertaining enlightenment as well.

Let's hope that 2015 will lit more imaginative fires and much thanks to the folks mentioned here for making this year a bit more bearable. Despite what some evil doers might think, a happy ever after is a dream that can come true:

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